Prime Minister Boris Johnson has unveiled a plan that will require all new homes and buildings in England to install electric vehicle (EV) charging points from 2022.
In a speech to the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) on 22 November 2021, Johnson claimed the move will see around 145,000 charging points installed across the country each year. New-build supermarkets, workplaces, and buildings will also be included in the plans.
The UK’s push for an EV infrastructure comes as the sale of new petrol and diesel cars will be banned from 2030.
During Johnson's speech at the CBI’s annual conference, the Prime Minister claimed: “This is a pivotal moment – we cannot go on as we are. We have to adapt our economy to the green industrial revolution.”
How does this compare to other countries?
This announcement is a great step in the right direction, however, it’s clear that more needs to be done.
A recent study found that half of British drivers say they’d like to help the planet by switching to an electric vehicle. However, 59% think the current average cost needs to fall by at least £15,000 for them to consider switching.
For many people, buying an EV isn’t realistic because of the initial price – which is, on average, €35,809. So, rather than just offering financial support for EV infrastructure items – such as charging stations – the UK government also needs to help Brits afford the upfront costs of electric vehicles.
We only need to look at France and Germany to see how much this can benefit the population.
The French government has been among the most generous in Europe in offering incentives for electric and hybrid vehicles. Its €8 billion (£6.7 billion) support plan was put in place during the COVID-19 pandemic, in May 2020, and provides drivers with more than €10,000 (£8,388) off the price of a new electric car.
In a bid to transform one of Germany’s core industries, the country has earmarked €5.5 billion (£4.6 billion) of funding for electric-car charging infrastructure.
Part of this scheme provides financial help for Germans wanting to buy an EV. Anyone buying an electric vehicle costing less than €40,000 can apply for a grant of up to €9,000 – or up to €6,750 for hybrid cars. Any electric vehicles costing more than €40,000 euros will have up to €7,500 available – and up to €5,625 for hybrid cars.
How will this impact UK emissions?
By incentivising EV charging points, the government will encourage more UK drivers to switch to greener transport, which will significantly reduce the country’s overall emissions.
Tackling transport emissions will also help the UK reach its net-zero by 2050 goal, since it’s the highest emitting sector of the UK economy – accounting for 22% of total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
In the UK, a battery-electric car’s GHG emissions are 66% lower than those of a petrol car, and 60% lower than those of a diesel car, when recharged using electricity from the national grid.
Rolling out more EVs on UK roads will also have a huge impact on noise pollution for anyone living close to busy roads and city centres. In fact, driving at average central London speeds with an EV can reduce noise pollution by roughly 8.9 decibels.
The UK government’s new plan, which will require all new homes and buildings in England to install electric vehicle (EV) charging points, is certainly a good step in the right direction.
However, for the EV industry to really take off in the UK, Brits need to have more financial support when initially buying the car, rather than just support on the add-on expenses of buying an EV.